I feel tingly in my hands and toes to think of tiptoeing down the hallway, down the stairs, into the kitchen for the fridge. Rarely do I undertake such a thrilling journey, knowing there is the darkness and the creaking floors and perhaps I will happen upon mice meeting up in three’s. I wouldn’t want to scatter them. If I’m possessed of an image of a piece of foodstuff in the fridge, shining and twinkling like a prize on the game show of my night hunger, if I’m very sure it’s there and no preparation at all is necessary, then I may venture from my sleepy resting place.
I used to think that I was the mask I put on my face. I was not duplicitous (then) – I thought my mask was my face. Until the day I saw my mask. In one moment, I took it off and held it in my hands. I had imagined it to be just right. I had imagined it to be like a real face. But, it was theatrical and exaggerated. Like a blind person touching my own face, I could feel the contours of me, unencumbered by the mask.
I never had imaginary friends. I have imaginary enemies, instead. They are not quite as fun. It’s really no surprise since I tend to predict the worst possible outcome and love engaging with doubt. The imagined adversity I create creates a soundless cacophony only I can hear.
I am a lawyer by trade, and not one who enjoys reading judicial opinions in the common law. I’m not a fancy lawyer, you understand. When it dawned on me my first year of law school that reading opinions was a whole lot of what law school was about, I thought I had made a big mistake. One that I would have to suffer through the rest of my life, because I think all pessimistically like that.